A/N: Here's my second fanfic...It's actually kind of a challenge for me. How realistic can I make this? Even though this probably would never happen, I want to keep true to the characters and use their past. Please let me know what you think. I also decided to keep the rating at M, seeing as how I'm sure some Brittana moment will justify that. ;)
Also, This is totally something different from my story "Must Be Felt". It's going to include a little more character action, and obviously it doesn't follow along with each episode. And it's Santana's POV
Review. Enjoy ;)
Chapter 1 : Nine out of Thirteen
It started out slow. The same pace the first time I kissed Brittany. It was almost surreal, like I wasn't even in my body. That had to be it. Oh shit. So I died? That can't be it either, because I can feel things against my skin. I'm not exactly sure what's touching me, but I know something is.
There's pressure against my stomach and something scratchy pushing itself into my cheek. Scratchy minuscule grains were branding into the right side of my face. And the other side of my other face felt hot, humid, almost clammy. If I were to place my palm against my forehead, I'm positive that the skin would be sticky with sweat.
Okay. So I'm piecing things together. I have to be lying on my stomach with my face turned to one side. That's why I can feel my ribs pressing into my lungs and my cheek slightly flatten against a surface. Whatever I was lying on was exerting the same force as one of those stiff cots Sue sometimes forced us to sleep in for an overnighter in the gym. That's another thing I'll have to add to the long list of Why I Hated Cheerios and Reasons I Left. But the surface I was on wasn't soft like a cot. So what was it?
I wanted to move my hand up to my face and wipe my eyes, but my arms were too heavy…Unless I don't have arms. Shit. If I could panic, now would be the time. But I was still stuck in an awkward dreamlike limbo. My mind was awake, but my body hadn't quite decided it was time. So, maybe this was a nightmare. I've had plenty of those. I'll wake up, only to find that I never actually woke up. And then I keep repeating the process, repeating the nightmare, and thinking that each time I've woken up, until finally I fall off my bed or smack my nightstand with a flailing hand.
Something swallowed my lips. It was ice cold, or maybe my body thought it was, because I was sweating. The gush of coldness flooded my neck and ran up behind my ear. That's when I realized the rest of my body was starting to get cold. Or maybe it was already cold and I was just now noticing.
But the coldness left, just as quickly as it had set on. It left a salty chill in my mouth. I could taste it on the corners of my lips. Salt? That didn't seem right, unless I was being dipped into a salty milkshake and I highly doubted that was the case.
And it returned again. I felt the liquid chill crawl through my socks, creep up my legs, squeeze between my thighs, and slide up my back. Again it touched my lips, but didn't stop. The coldness entered my mouth and seeped down my lungs. It pushed into my nose and burnt. And when it rolled over my eyes it snapped them open, as if it had switched a light switch.
An abstract blur fogged my eyes. I quickly snapped them shut to protect against the burning-cold liquid and my chest insintcually started to force the cold liquid out of my lungs. Before I had time to relish in the fact that my body was working, I was scurrying across the ground on all fours, and away from whatever was drowining me. My knees sunk with each crawl, and my hands slipped every time I tried to find a stable grip.
I'm not exactly sure how far I scurried away, or even if I was scurrying in a safe direction, but I stopped myself eventually. And when I stopped I was perched on my knees. But my body was still too heavy and I was forced to sink down and rest my butt on the back of my calves.
I tried to ease my coughing, but my body was still rejecting the liquid that had crawled into my throat. My nose was stinging, and my eyes were drenched with salt and liquid. I used the back of my forearm and tried to wipe my eyes dry.
Again that same scratchy feeling that had been digging into my cheek earlier, dragged across my eyelids and the bridge of my nose. I jerked my arm away once I realized I was causing pain to myself. This time, slowly and carefully, I moved my fingertips up to my eyes and removed the water and tough pieces of grain.
I opened my eyes and was face to face with a steep, sandy, ledge. It swooped upward above my head, and crawled back into a forest of trees.
So I was on a beach. That made absolutely no sense. But this wasn't a dream, because I could still feel my eyes smoldering and begging to be shut. And even though my vision was still a little blurry, I know what I can see and I know the difference between dream-sand and real-life-sand. Sand. Lots of sand, leading into lots of trees.
I twisted my head around quickly to see what I had crawled away from. The motion pushed me into a flimsy stage of vertigo, in which I closed my eyes to stop. When I opened them again, my neck still craned to look behind me, I saw waves tiptoeing up the sand and leaving a definitive wet edge along the beach. I saw the imprint from my body being slowly yanked back into the ocean, and I could even make out small bits of sea shell.
But the longer I stared at the sea shell, the more I started to wonder if they were really shells. I mean, aren't shells supposed to be tiny? Either I was on a beach with humongous crabs or those weren't shells.
I turned back around to face the forest of trees. Maybe forest isn't the right word, because these trees were tropical. Palm, eucalyptus, mango, and the list could go on.
I went to clench my fists but felt that familiar grainy-scratch run in between my fingers. I looked down to see my hands were covered in sand, and that sand ran up my arms. The beige grain was everywhere, all over me. All over my thighs, sweatshirt, and I'm sure in my hair. I began to swat it off, but stopped once I realized I wasn't getting rid of any, I was just moving it to different parts of my body.
Sweatshirt. Ugh. It's way too hot for a sweatshirt. I felt the sun tanning my thighs, and maybe by this point I was beginning to burn. I never burn, but then again I've never been passed out on some random beach for God knows how long.
For a brief second I thought someone called my name. That had to be a mirage. Soon enough I'm going to start seeing swimming pools and Brittany floating naked on a floatie inside those imaginary swimming pools.
Brittany! Wait. What the hell is going on here? Is she here?
"Santana." The voice was real this time. Or seemed real.
I turned my head to the left and saw someone sprinting through the sand. I didn't move , or try to get up. If anything, I felt uncomfortable with the amount of panic this person was expressing in the calling of my name.
"Santana!" They yelled again, but this time panic was replaced with joy.
It was Sam. His cargo shorts were covered in sand and his grey t-shirt was drenched with sweat. Even his blonde-Beiber hair was sticking to his forehead.
He jumped down to his knees right in front of me and firmly grasped both sides of my shoulders. That goofy grin that he always gave people when they did something worthwhile of a goofy grin was plastered across his face. I've only witness him give the grin to others, but never knew what it took to earn one myself. Apparently it takes waking up in the middle of an abandoned beach.
Again he did something uncharacteristic. He pulled me into a smothering hug. His chest pushed into my face and his arms wrapped around my back. We sat like that for awhile. Both on our knees, and him suffocating me with an unwarranting bear hug.
"I can't believe I found you." He whispered into my hair.
I wanted to pull back and get an explanation from him, for his crazy-ass behavior, but he refused to let me go. "Whht th hl." I mumbled into his sweat covered shirt.
"Sorry." He let go once he realized his hug wasn't giving me any room to breathe. But he didn't let go of my shoulders. "Are you okay?" His eyes darted from mine and examined my face. I couldn't help feeling suddenly and unexpectedly self-conscious. Was I sweating as much as him?
His eyes faltered on what looked to be my temple. His lips pursed and his hand slowly drifted from my shoulder until his finger tips were inches away from the side of my face.
"That looks pretty bad. I think the guys found a first aid kit." His fingers continued to float above my skin.
"Whh." The words came out dry and scratched my throat. I swallowed a healthy gulp of spit. "What looks bad? What are you talking about?" I slapped my head up to the wound-in-question and let out a shriek of pain. It felt like someone had dug a screwdriver into a gashing wound I had on the side of my head.
"Stop!" His hands grabbed my wrist, but he was too late. "Careful." He pulled my hand away from my face.
Tears dropped down from my eyes. I could feel them. They were fat and full of stinging pain. Soon accompanying gasps caught up to the tears.
"What the hell is going on?" I managed to squeak in between a huff of air.
He looked lost. I could tell he was trying to find an answer that wouldn't freak me out, and I could tell he was just as confused as I was.
"Do you remember what happened?" His eyes looked past me and over my shoulder. I watched as his body jumped back and his eyebrows lifted. "Wow. I can't believe parts of the plane made it all the way out here. Did you land here?" His eyes were wide as he gestured toward the strip of beach behind me.
"Plane?" I hadn't really listened to anything after he said that word. I turned back around and examined those sea-shells. A plane?
"You must have hit the water. That's what happened to Quinn, but she landed closer to us." His eyes again returned to examining me. "Your sweatshirts dry." He nodded. "Makes sense, I mean you were out here for almost four hours. You probably washed up on shore."
"Washed up?" My hand patted against my sweatshirt. It was dry and even hot to the touch.
He held his breath and finally decided to give a proper explanation. "The plane crashed. On our way back from Nationals. I'm not really sure why or how, or what we were even doing over an island…" He stopped and tucked his lips into his mouth.
"But where's all the other people. There was like two-hundred people on that plane." I looked everywhere, but Sam and me were the only ones within sight.
"No Santana." His eyes narrowed. "We took a private plane back remember? It was supposed to be a layover."
"Oh right." The memory rushed back. The airport had cancelled our original flight and when Mr. Shuester, Quinn, and Rachel insisted that we had to be back for classes, the airport told us we could fly out of state on a private plane. "Yeah. Yeah I remember."
We both sat again in silence. I could feel my sweat building up and stacking over old sweat. At least I was wearing shorts. I had originally been wearing sweats, but Brittany let me borrow an pair of her Wolverine boxers to wear on the plane after I had complained about being too hot.
"Brittany!" My chest tightened. "Where's she? Where's everyone? Is everyone okay." I slapped Sam's hand off my shoulder and bolted up. My escape was quickly halted once my knees gave out and I plummeted back into the hot sand.
"Santana." He dashed on his knees toward me and grabbed my shoulders again. "It's okay. She's fine."
My sigh of relief only halfway let out. "And everyone else?"
"…We couldn't find everyone." He gulped. "But back at camp there's most of the guys." He gulped again. "Me, Puck, Finn." He stopped.
"That's only half of the guys." I snapped.
He shrugged. "But Brittany's there. She actually swam out to help Quinn. And Tina and Mercedes are there too. Oh and Rachel."
"Lauren?" I asked due the absence of her name.
He shook his head no.
I had to hold back tears. I already felt dumb enough for crying earlier, and I still was in shock at everything. This just didn't seem real. I would have thought someone was playing a joke on us, if it weren't for the pounding gash on the side of my head and the honest panic in Sam's eyes.
"Let's take you back. The girls will be happy. I know Brittany and Quinn specifically were on mission to find you, and everyone else of course." He stood up. "Do you think you can stand?"
He answered his own question when he bent over and swooped me up into his arms. It hadn't been that long ago that I dated him, and I'd forgotten how strong he was and how easily he could lift me.
In any other normal circumstance I would have fought him off, but I didn't object to him carrying me. Truth be told, I don't think I could have walked anywhere. My head hurt too badly, my legs were weak, and I was dehydrated. So I nestled into his drenched chest and closed my eyes. The coolness of his sweat felt good against my blistering skin.
My body slumped and relaxed. I would rock with each step he took, but that didn't bother me. It was comforting and reminded me that I was still awake and not having a stroke. He moved upward, and he grunted. Probably from climbing that ledge. I wanted to open my eyes, I felt guilty for weighing him down, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.
After what had to be a half an hour he leaned his head down and spoke into my ear. "We're almost there. Are you awake?"
"Mmm." I opened my eyes again to be barraged with blurry abstract vision. But I quickly cleared it as my adrenaline rose. I wanted to know how other people were reacting to this.
There was a huge metal plane carcass pressed against a tree. It was cracked and revealed a row of seats that should never be visible from the outside of the plane.
"Guys." Sam's voice vibrated through my body. "I found someone."
I could hear a bustle within the plane and saw two figures emerge. They halted and froze once they jumped from the plane.
"Oh my God!" Quinn gasped and slapped her hands over her mouth.
The blonde next to her dropped her jaw and her eyes widened. She grabbed Quinn's wrist and yanked her toward us.
"Is she okay?" Quinn asked when they reached us.
Brittany caught my eyes and smiled finally. She dropped Quinns hand and grabbed my dangling one. "Santana!" She bent over and wrapped her other arm around my neck. I was immediately nuzzled into her neck. She too was sweaty. I could smell the saltiness on her skin. "I was so worried. I can't believe you're okay." She held back a sob. "I looked everywhere. Me and Quinn just got back. We needed water." I tried to comfort her and press a hidden kiss against her neck, but I was too weak.
"Water!" Quinn yelled and interrupted us. "Sam set her down in the shade. She's probably dehydrated. Where'd you find her?"
Sam listened and walked me over to the plane. His body jostled as he climbed through the cracked siding. His arms lifted and twisted me around until I was laying flat across a row of three seats. I guess someone had removed the arm rests. The entire time Brittany was close by my side darting around Sam's body, always making sure to keep an eye on me.
The leather felt good against my back. It was soft and cool. Brittany's hand returned to mine once Sam stepped back. "I found her out along the beach. I think she may have landed in the water and was washed up on shore." He repeated the same words he had said to me earlier. "She had to have been lying in the sun for quite some time." He walked away and started digging through a bag with Quinn.
"Take this off." Brittany's hands grabbed the bottom of my sweatshirt and pulled at it. I shuffled around until she was able to squirm it off.
I let out a heavy lungful of air the instant it was off and I felt my body temperature quickly cool.
"Do we have fan?" Brittany turned around and asked both Sam and Quinn. "She's too hot. She needs a fan." Brittany turned back to me and began waving her hands in my face.
Quinn walked over with a bottle of water in her hand. "Here." She kneeled down next to Brittany. "Drink this slowly." And instead of handing me the bottle she tilted it for me to drink.
Two gulps and the water that initially had cooled my throat started to sting again. I reached for the bottle wanting to stop the burning, but Quinn jerked it away. "Drink it slow Santana or you'll get sick."
I nodded and she again held the bottle out for me to drink another gulp.
"Okay. We need to fix that cut on your head. I don't really know how to sew, but maybe you don't need stitches." Her hand pressed against my cheek and turned the my temple towards her. She cringed. "Maybe someone knows how to sew." Her fingertips brushed against the edge of the cut. "I'll clean it though. I can do that." Quinn stood and walked back to the bag that Sam was still digging through.
Brittany squeezed my hand and scooted closer. "If I were to pick one person to be stranded on an island with, it would be you." She smiled. I knew she was trying to cheer me up, lighten the mood.
"Me too." The voice that came out of my throat was scratchy again.
"I'm so glad you're okay. And I'm sorry I didn't find you sooner." Her lips pouted and I saw her eyes begin to water.
"No." I rasped. "It's okay." I tried to squeeze her hand back, but I was getting too tired and too weak. "You would have found me eventually. It's not your fault."
She just nodded and wiped away a stray tear with her wrist.
I closed my eyes.
"This is ludicrous. We can't expect to be found." The voice woke me up with a jolt.
I shuffled around, expecting to be in my bed, maybe in the plane on the way back from Nationals, but instead I was laying across three seats and Brittany sitting on the floor next to me with her hands firmly clasping around my own hand.
"You're awake." Brittany whispred.
Everything. Sam. The beach. It all came rushing back. And along with the memories came a sting on the side of my head. It wasn't as sharp as before, but I constant dull ache seemed to follow.
"I'm awake." My voice was still raspy.
I looked around. It was darker than before, but still daylight. It was also dramatically cooler. That had to be a combination of me not having my sweatshirt, being in the shade, and it being later in the day.
Brittany climbed up onto her knees and peered over me. Her hand traced along the side of my cheek and her eyes honed into the side of my face. "Looks good." She smiled. "Do you feel good?"
I moved my hand slowly up to my temple, this time fully aware of my wound, and careful not to slap it. My fingers stopped once they touched latex. A small butterfly bandage ran across the cut and I felt threads tickle my fingers. "How could that possibly look good?" I carefully glided my fingers across the sewn cut. "I feel like Frankenstein."
"Well." Brittany sighed, but smiled. "You don't look like Frankenstein."
"We could find a building in the middle of the island. And for all we know a lighthouse could be on the other side." That same voice that had woke me up echoed from outside the plane.
"Who's yelling?" I flinched from the loud noise.
"It's Rachel. I told her to be quiet earlier, but she didn't listen." Brittany pursed her lips. "Do you want to go outside?"
Her hands wrapped around my calves and carefully swung them over the edge of the seats. As my body twisted I lifted my head. When I found I was too weak to lift myself entirely, she snapped her hand behind my back and helped me up the rest of the way. I used my hands to firmly grasp onto the ledge and keep myself steadied and Brittany kept a strict eye on my wavering.
She stood up and held her hands out for me. "Come on. Let's see if we can get food." Her hands stroked up and down my thighs.
I slipped my hands into hers and she helped me up. It was easier than I expected and I was glad I had waited to stand up until my dizziness had completely subsided.
We crept through the empty plane carcass until we reached the crack that led outside. Brittany let go of my hand, waited until I steadied and leapt the three-foot drop down the ground.
I hadn't acknowledged anyone, but they must have seen me and Brittany because Finn's hands were around my waist and he was helping me down. The jump was easy when he guided my fall.
His hands released from my hips and he moved back to Rachel.
I looked around and saw everyone was sitting in a small half circle, except for Finn and Rachel who were standing. Sam and Quinn were sitting on top of a small cooler and Tina, Mercedes, and Puck were sitting on the ground digging through the foliage.
Puck shot up and grabbed a broken seat that was leaning against the plane. He returned and set it behind me. "Here." He grabbed my forearms and slowly led me down into the seat.
It felt weird having everyone treat me like this, regardless of the extreme circumstance. Everyone was acting protective and nurturing, and the only one who had always treated me like this was Brittany.
"How come you guys didn't do this before I had a gaping head wound?" I let the humor roll of my tongue.
"There are many reasons." Rachel crossed her arms over her chest.
"Rachel, stop." Quinn demanded.
"Maybe if you hadn't attacked me after we lost at Nationals, and insult me every chance you get, I would respect you a little more." Rachel ignored Quinn.
"Oh please." I rolled my eyes. "It's not my fault you look like the Sasquatch who lost his beef jerky."
"Guys." Quinn interrupted. "Now isn't the time."
"I'm just glad that you're still sassy-Santana." Mercedes spoke up. "And that crash didn't do any brain damage."
I exchanged a smile with Mercedes.
Rachel scoffed and continued. "Okay. So here's the plan. We'll split up. It's the best chance we have at finding everyone, and finding a way off of this island. Santana was lucky Tina was willing to sew her up, but who knows how we'll fair if someone returns to us with an even more severe injury."
"Hold up." I interrupted. "We're on an island?"
Sam looked toward me, and I suddenly remembered him explaining that earlier.
"Are we sure it's not attached. Like Florida?" Brittany echoed my question.
"It's not attached." Rachel answered. "We-"
"Hold up again." I said. "This may be the dumb question but why can't we just call someone?"
Everyone exchanged looks with one another. I couldn't tell if they thought I was stupid for asking, or if they were stupid for not thinking about it.
Tina offered an explanation. "We don't know where they went. The pilot said we had to stow them away with luggage since the plane was so small. And he made us turn them off so they didn't scare him when they rang and send him spiraling into the ground." Her tone was monotonic and sad, and I knew it was because Mike wasn't sitting next to her.
It looked like everyone had given up at that point. Their shoulders were sagging and nobody was making eye contact.
"What if we build a raft and float out into the ocean. It'd probably be easier if Wilson was helping us, but I think we can do it." Brittany suggested. I was glad she hadn't given up.
"That was unrealistic and dangerous." Rachel barked. "Tom Hanks is a lucky man. And we are not that desperate at this point." She paced back and forth. "We'll be fine. We just need to avoid that alligator thing and we'll be fine."
"What?" Almost everyone said in unison.
Rachel eyed us all. Obviously she hadn't meant to say that. "I-It's nothing…" She turned her back to us, but then turned back around. "I just saw…an alligator thing crawl out into the ocean."
"Like a komodo dragon?" Mercedes asked.
"Like Godzilla?" Brittany also asked. "Or Sue?"
"No. And definitely not." Rachel answered. "Somewhere in between."
"Are you shitting me Berry?" I tried to find the ocean, but we were too far into the thick of the trees. "When were you planning on telling us this?"
"It's not a big deal." She shrugged. "And I didn't want to freak you guys out."